Teachers and parents: web resources relating to early maps
This page was created on 18 March 2002 and updated thereafter
There are numerous sites offering links for teachers, on the
one hand, or for maps on the other. Since there does not seem to
be any site that brings together (for the benefit of teachers or parents)
web-based educational materials relating to the history of maps, a
systematic search was carried out on the web. No responsibility for the
content of the sites linked below can be taken by the author of this page
(who has no experience of teaching).
marvellous resource by Patricia Seed, with sections, besides 'maps', on:
beacons, coastal navigation, compass roses, latitude and longitude,
'Making Sense of
Maps' ("a place for students and teachers to begin working with maps
as historical evidence...an overview of the history of maps and how
historians use them, a breakdown of the elements of a map, tips on what
questions to ask when analyzing maps", with examples taken from Illinois
and Pittsburgh - David Stephens, Youngstown State University)
(historical essay (broken into short sections), assisting students to understand early maps, by Joni Seager,
University of Vermont, for 'History Matters', George Mason University)
Outreach. Yolanda Theunissen, 'Developing and Promoting Outreach Services for Elementary and Middle Schools: Case
Study of a Rare Map Library at a Public University', Journal of Map and Geography Libraries 3, no. 2 [June 14,
2007]: 5-22 [available via subscription].
’Tutorial: History of Cartography’ (illustrated notes, arranged in eight chronological
chapters, with ‘Auxiliary Studies’ and (to follow) ‘In depth studies’, available also in
Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovakian, Spanish and Russian - University
of Southern Maine (George S. Carhart); Eötvös Loránd Universität, Budapest (Zsolt Török);
Universität Passau (Thomas Frenz))
'Zoom into Maps' ('Maps help us make sense of our world'; 'Analyzing a Map'; 'What can be
learned from historic maps?' - introductory texts accompanying the Library of Congress's 'American
Memory' site, illustrated with high resolution MrSID images). In July 2009, LC released its new Teacher Resources module for the American Memory
Project. This provides lesson plans and guidance on interpreting original sources.
These are offered without comment as to their quality. Entering the
ISBN into a search engine, or Amazon.com
[just select 'Books' and copy the ISBN into the search box without dashes or
spaces], should retrieve details about the book concerned.
Alternatively, try Maps &
Cartography -- Children / K-12 Level (a listing of recent books, by
Charting the World: Geography and Maps from Cave Paintings to GPS with 21 Activities (For Kids)
by Richard Panchyk (Chicago Review Press, 2011). ISBN-13: 978-1569763445. 132 pages.
Exploring and Mapping the American West (Cornerstones of
Freedom) by Judy Alter. Children's Press, 2001. ISBN: 051621599X. 32 pages; ages 9-12
Follow That Map!: A First Book of Mapping Skills by Scott Ritchie (a brief review of the 32-
page book, with a link to a free 4-page teaching guide from the publisher, Kids Can Press)
Four titles by Walter Oleksy: Mapping the World; Mapping the Seas; Mapping the Skies; Maps in History. Franklin Watts, 2002-2003 (Watts Library). Respective ISBNs: 0531166368; 0531120309; 0531120317; 0531166333. Each 64 pages; ages 9-12
A History of Maps (a video recording from Summer Productions, 2004(?))
How Maps Are Made by Martyn Bramwell. Lerner Publishing
Group, 1997 (Maps and Mapmakers series). ISBN: 0822529203. 48
pages; ages 9-11
How to Draw Maps by E. Fischel. Usborne Publishing, 2001.
ISBN: 0746046588. 24 pages (including some map history); Grade 4-7
How We Learned The Earth Is Round by Patricia Lauber and Megan Lloyd. Harper-Collins, 1992. ISBN: 0-06-445109-7.
32 pages, Grades 2-4.
Mapping the World by Sylvia A. Johnson. Atheneum Books for
Young Readers, 1999. ISBN: 0689818130. 32 pages; ages 8-12
Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton (illustrated by Harriett
Barton). HarperCollins Children's Books, 1986 (reprinted). ISBN:
0064460495. 42 pages; ages 7-10
Maps and Mapping by Jinny Johnson. Kingfisher, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7534-6062-7. 32 pages. Grades
The road to there: mapmakers and their stories by Val Ross. Tundra Books Inc., September 2003. ISBN 0-88776-621-8. 160 pages; ages 11+
The Story of Maps and Navigation by Anita Ganeri. Oxford
University Press, 1997 (Signs of the Times series). ISBN:
0195214102. 32 pages; ages 8-10
There's a map on my lap by Trish Rabe, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz. Random
House, 2002 (The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library). ISBN: 0-375-81099-4. 48 pages;
Understanding Maps of Our World Series (a series of volumes, by Tim Cooke or Ben
Hollingum, each of 48 pages, designed for grades 6-9, covering the following topics (each with a
cartographic history introduction): Government maps, Maps and cities, Maps and exploration, Maps
and navigation, Maps today, Maps and mapping the world, Maps and measurement, Travel maps)
Where Am I?: The Story of Maps and Navigation by A. G.
Stoddart Kids, 1997. ISBN: 0773758364. 96 pages; ages 9-12
Neptune's Realm: From Classical Mythology to Satellite Imagery’: Lessons Index (17
illustrated lessons, for use, variously, by Elementary/Middle School or High School, by Andy
Alley, Lenora Liebowitz, Hope McVane, Peter Rice and Gary Spring ; each divided into sections:
Learning Objectives, Background Information, Teacher Activities, Materials Required,
Presentation of Lesson, Glossary - related to an exhibition at the Osher Map Library and Smith
Center for Cartographic Education, University of Southern Maine, Portland, 2000-2001- Donald S.
Johnson, guest curator)
"Collection Connections". The Library of Congress's various sites include a wealth of
contextual detail, e.g. on the 'Collection Connections' pages - see the analysis on Images: Large General Sites. These are arranged under the headings:
U.S. History, Critical Thinking, and Arts & Humanities. They "provide activity ideas for using
the online collections to develop critical thinking skills. Part of The Learning Page, Collection
Connections feature teacher created lesson plans based on online primary resources at the
Library of Congress".
West' (lessons and worksheets to help 'expand and enrich students' perceptions of the United
States West, but with sections on the broader history of cartography as well - Stanford University)
'Historic maps for students & teachers'
('thousands of historic maps from all parts of the world', both original and
reconstruction, both full and details - Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of
Education, University of South Florida)
'Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms' ("a
resource for teaching the geographic dimensions of American history", featuring 19 high quality original
maps, each "accompanied by lesson
plans written for different grade levels and designed to support a variety of social studies, history,
and geography curricula", and including referenced notes on, e.g., 'How to read historic maps', as
well as supplemental images and texts - Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, Newberry
Library, Chicago). [The site was awarded a Geography Excellence in Media Award for 2004 from the National
Council for Geography Education.] [Also accessible here.]
'Mapping History: an interactive exploration of maps through time' (a teaching kit,
featuring a number of unusual maps gathered together for the British Library's 2001 exhibition,
'Lie of the Land: the Secret Life of Maps', comprising explanation, selected illustrations and
questions for pupils - 'while some maps deliberately set out to deceive, others simply show a selective view and reflect only the
interests of the people who made them. This collection is a reminder that there is often more to a map than meets the eye')
Geography (teacher-created, classroom-tested lesson plans using primary sources from the Library of
Map Skills for
Children (K-4, with Teacher's Guide, three 23-minute DVDs, sub-titled respectively, A
History of Maps; Making & Reading Maps; Maps & Globes, published by Schlessinger Media,
2004, and comprising: DVD Series (3 Volumes) V8830 & Video Series (3 Volumes) K5585 - CLEARVUE &
See also '2003 Everyday Maps Institute Participants Produce Map-Based Curriculum Materials for
Grades K-12', Mapline: a newsletter published by The Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the
History of Cartography at The Newberry Library [Chicago], Numbers 97-98, Spring 2004, pp.7-28.
The Newberry Library, Chicago held a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar
for primary and secondary school teachers, Envisioning America
in Maps and Art, July 18 - August 12, 2011.
"The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education [University of Southern Maine, Portland]
is offering a four-part Cartography
course for homeschooling families. Students will learn about important topics in history through
lessons and activities using cartographic materials. Intermediate students (ages 10 - 12) will meet every
other Friday during January and February , and secondary students (ages 13 - 16) will meet every
other Tuesday during January and February".
help to improve this section for others by proposing new links to Tony Campbell: